Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Everybody Loves Raymond

Raymond Sacchi wrote the following letter to the editor in today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
As a pro-business Republican, I was intrigued to find the formation of a new "citizen group" called Business and Residents for Economic Opportunity (BREO-"bray-oh"). So I did a little Internet research on the founding members. And what I found appalled me. BREO co-founder Tom Forbes runs a Web site to which other co-founders April Coggins and City Council candidate Joshua Coke are frequent contributers. What I found on the site was occasional cogent analysis mixed with vicious, potentially libelous attack.

Forbes and company label their opponents with words like "Stalinists," "Brown Shirts," "liars," "hypocrites," "frauds," "jiadists." Public discussion and debate are essential for a democracy, but when people stoop to name calling and slander it ceases to be useful.

Forbes has accused both the Daily News reporters and the Evergreen of bias, and claims one Washington State University administrator has sought to unduly influence the student paper; he accused one City Council candidate of planning voter fraud; he attacked a 31-year resident of this town as a liar who should be run out of town, and on and on.

I don't agree with all of PARD's positions (BREO's main target), but I am convinced they are correct that a Wal-Mart would be bad for our local economy.

Both my parents' small businesses went bankrupt due to the arrival of megastores like Wal-Mart (both were profitable prior to the arrival of Wal-Mart).

The irresponsible, extremist ranting on Forbes' site gives Republicans a bad name, and makes it impossible to take BREO seriously. Leave pro-business lobbying to the Chamber of Commerce.

In the meantime, I hope that the candidates, Josh Coke, Bill Paul and Ann Heath, who are endorsed on his Web site will publicly repudiate this outrageous rhetoric and these smear tactics that have no place in public discourse.
I guess I need to amplify a few things Ray had to say. First of all, he is being a bit disingenuous. Ray didn't just "find" Palousitics after BREO was announced. He has been a regular visitor for months. See, I'm not sure if Ray realizes this or not, but his WSU IP address resolves to his last name. I have been aware that Ray has been visiting here for a long time now.

As far as his PARD affiliation goes, his personal WSU page states: "Recently Ray has started fighting the expansion of a mega-retailer into Pullman." Hmmmmm. "Fighting" seems to be a lot different than just "being convinced PARD is correct." In addition, Ray "The Republican" is a Graduate Student Supervisor and working on his Master's degree in the Department of Psychology. Ironically enough Jason Rogers, the PARD webmaster and Vice-Chair of the Whitman County Democrats, is also a Psychology graduate student and Teaching Assistant. And if he isn't a member of PARD, how does Ray know Cynthia "Impartial Private Citizen" Hosick is a 31-year resident of Pullman. He was also careful not to give out too much information, like T.V. Reed's or Judy Krueger's name, the name or URL for my "Web site" or any of the "cogent analysis" he claims to have read here. Yes, I think Ray gave a little too much away about his PARD affiliation.

According to his page, Ray was born in New York City. To date, there are no Wal-Mart stores in New York City. Ray is also listed as being a 1995 graduate of Mead High School in Spokane. Stores in Spokane have been closed by Wal-Mart? Gosh, how would you know with so many retailers to choose from (Wal-Mart, Target, ShopKo, Best Buy, NorthTown Mall, etc.)? How could you know for sure which one did the damage?

This blog was created "for my own amusement." It does not reflect the opinions of BREO or any other organization or person, except for those who post here themselves. But my sources tell me pro-business Republicans, BREO members, and the Chamber of Commerce agree with me a lot more often than they do with Ray and his PARDners.

Leftists on the Palouse have had their own little message board for quite a while where attacks and acrimony flare on regular basis. It's called Vision 2020.

Speaking of attacks, I suppose it is acceptable public discourse that Greg "Captain" Hooks, the PARD Living Wage Campaign Coordinator, in a letter to the editor today said that Mayor Johnson, Ann Heath, and Bill Paul are all "naive, greedy, and biased?"

And speaking of libelous, most of the things Ray claims I have written in fact have been written by other commenters on this blog. I never wrote that Cynthia Hosick should be "run out of town." I have just demanded a full and fair accounting of what happened with the "Nineteen Pullman Merchants" petition.

By the way Ray, it's "BREE-oh." And slander is spoken, not written.

I'm getting the distinct impression there was a big letter writing party at PARD World Headquarters. Notice similar themes? Notice how the higher-ups like Reed, Hooks, Damm, and Hosick carefully avoid direct attacks on me? Well, PARDners, sorry, it ain't gonna work. I will not be intimidated. Expect more of the same from me, not less.


April E. Coggins said...

Intimidation is the name of the game. Pullman is still small enough that people are afraid to stand up against groups like PARD. As a personal testament, I'm still alive and my store is busy with people who agree with me about Pullman's future. Taking a public stand has an unexpected result. I am making a lot of new friends and customers.

Tom Forbes said...

Palousitics is busier than ever, averaging a staggering hundred visitors a day now. More people are speaking out publicly. More people are joining BREO. I would like to thank PARD for all the free publicity.

Pullman Chamber Guy said...

I have never seen anything like this in my 28 years in Pullman.

Tom, you have done more than any 50 people could have done in dragging this town out of the dumps we've been in for so long. It's amazing.

It's only natural that P.A.R.D. would come after you. They have been on the defensive for the last two months. They can't handle the truth.

P.A.R.D.'s attacks on you are going to backfire.

Uncle Bubba said...

I have to agree with you P. C. GUY, Tom Forbes has contributed countless hours toward the betterment of Pullman and our area.
Mr.Sacchi's comments are at best just negative dribble.